Sunday, April 10, 2011

Greek Yogurt Spinach Artichoke Dip


Artichoke Dip

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rinsed and drained artichoke hearts
  • handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • dash ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/4 cup White Onion
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 oz silk Lite Tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Directions:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium and add olive oil. Chop onions and add to the pan along with garlic. Saute until translucent.Add spinach to soften.
  2. Meanwhile place yogurt, artichoke hearts, tofu, chili powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper to the food processor Chop til nearly smooth (leaving some small chunks). Combine artichoke mix with onions and garlic. Stir in parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Pour into a small baking dish and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve with veggies, pita chips, tortillas, or dried whole grain breads.

Nutrition:

  • Calories 44
  • Calories from Fat 14.3
  • Total Fat 1.59g
  • Sodium 348.33mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 4.42g
  • Dietary Fiber 0.52g
  • Sugars 0.93g
  • Protein 2.02g

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sleep More Weigh Less




Lack of sleep inhibits weight loss and can be linked directly to weight gain.

Most American adults get only 7 hours or less of sleep at night which is considered sleep deprived. The current recommendation for optimal functioning is 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep.

There are several reasons why sleep deprivation can be linked to obesity and weight gain.

1. Metabolism is slowed-
When a person is sleep deprived their metabolism tends to slow down. Although they are awake extra hours and should be burning more calories the time awake later is usually spent doing sedentary activities like watching TV, social media or surfing the Internet. Some studies suggest that they burn an additional 50 calories an hour from what they would burn while asleep but this is easily overridden by what they consume at those times.

2. Increase in hunger hormone and decrease in full hormone- Several studies have shown that when a person is sleep deprived there is a significant increase in the hunger hormone ghelin. At the same time participants also showed a decrease of the full hormone leptin which is responsible for telling the body when to stop eating. The off balance of these two hormones makes an awake, tired person feel hungry and slow to feel full after or while eating.

3. Poor decision making- 
People who are sleep deprived tend to reach for sugary foods that lack in nutrition. I know for myself that I make poor decisions when I am sleep deprived. One study showed that participants made much worse decisions not only about food but also about finances when they were tired.

4. Less fat oxidation- In one study two groups were put on an identical calorie restricted diet and exercise regimen. The only difference was that one group was restricted on their sleep. Although both groups lost weight the group that was sleep deprived lost lean mass (mostly muscle) and very little fat while it was the opposite for the group that got more sleep. Consequently, those that sleep more burn more fat. In another study cutting back on sleep reduced weight loss by 55%!

My personal recommendation, and this is a tough one for some, is to go to bed before 10:00 pm. Before you click the exit button hear me out. Consider what you are doing after 10 and whether it is worth your health. For me it was facebook and wandering around looking for goodies. It might take a few nights to actually fall asleep at that time but give it a good try for at least two weeks and see what it does for your hunger levels through out the day and the way you feel.

Recommendations
Get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep at night
Go to bed before 10

More articles:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

Pumpkin Wheat Blender Pancakes


This is a yummy but healthy food storage recipe.

I wanted to make it more nutritious so I omitted some of the oil of regular wheat blender pancakes and added some pumpkin. It sweetened things up and added a power punch of vitamins, and a splash of color.

We had some company. I wanted other kids to try them besides my own. We taste tested these against thicker traditional white pancakes and these won HANDS DOWN!

Pumpkin Wheat Blender Pancakes Recipe
Makes 35 palm (as in hand) sized pancakes

Read instructions completely before adding ingredients!
1 1/8 cup skim milk (can be made from powder)
3/4 cup wheat berries (whole wheat kernels)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs cornstarch (thickens it)
3 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup canned pumpkin

In blender add skim milk and wheat kernels. Turn on and let it blend an entire 4 minutes before adding other ingredients.

Add other ingredients with blender still going. Do not double, most blenders will over flow. Cook on skillet. These bubble when they are ready to flip, they turn out very light.

Great for making ahead of time and freezing. Put in toaster to thaw and cook.

Nutrition
Serving size: 4 palm size pancakes

Per serving
Calories: 139
Fat 7
Chol .7
Sodium 36
Carbs 15
Fiber 2.28
Protein 5
Sugar 2.4

Don't forget to add syrup calories into calculations. Some alternatives are fresh strawberries, sugar free jam, lite or sugar free syrup or agave.

These pancakes have low enough calories to add a nice egg white omelet or protein shake. Making a complete breakfast of protein (wheat berries and eggs), complex carbs (pumkin and wheat berries) and healthy fat (canola oil).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Greek Yogurt Lean Treats, Great for Post Workout


I am trying to like Greek Yogurt I really am.

I must admit it isn't my thing. It has double the protein than regular yogurt so that is good especially for a girl that can't seem to get all the needed protein in for one day but I don't like it. It is thick, sticks in my mouth and is a bit more tart than I can handle. I have came across several recipes, however, that call for it so I have learned to try, try again.

Well I REALLY like this treat!

I experimented until I came up with something that I am sure someone else has already invented! Oh and it is great for pre and post workout!!! Little fat, simple carbs, fast absorbing protein! The perfect mix of macro nutrients (that is just a buzz word for protein, carbs and fat)

Greek Yogurt Lean Treat
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used athenos nonfat plain)
1/2 scoop chocolate protein whey (gnc 100 percent whey)
1 strawberry sliced
1/4 banana sliced
Quaker Carmel Rice Cake (50 calories)

Mix yogurt and whey powder till it has a nice chocolate pudding appearance. Spread on rice cake add fruit topping.

Nutrition
Calories: 182
Fat: 1
Chol: 22
Sodium: 82
Carbs: 25
Fiber: 2
Protein: 18
Sugar: 10
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